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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The official Paul McCartney website gets a makeover

Last updated on February 17, 2023


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On this day, a new version of Paul McCartney’s official website was launched. The first Paul McCartney website had been launched 25 years ago, in April 1997.

From paulmccartney.com, May 18, 2022:

It was 25 years ago today… nearly. Back in the spring of 1997, Paul launched his first website. That website helped promote the Flaming Pie album, the campaign for which included an online Q&A where a record-breaking three million questions were submitted. (We weren’t there at the time, but we assume Paul didn’t have chance to answer them all, although knowing him, we’re sure he had a good go at it!)

In the years we’ve been open for business, we’ve had several different looks. Just like looking through old family photos some of those styles have aged better than others, but we’ve always been striving to be the go-to hub for all of Paul’s news and works. Back to the present day and today, to celebrate our 25th year, PaulMcCartney.com HQ proudly publishes the latest (and we think, greatest) version of Paul’s website. After many meetings with the man himself last year and this, we signed off the final changes with Paul backstage at the first of his recent Oakland gigs. We’ve given the website a complete overhaul working hard to make sure it’s modern but dignified, cool and classy, and added in a bit of rock ‘n’ roll for good measure. 

The site has a new logo, we’ve changed the layout and made everything easier to find, and also given it a completely brand new design from head to toe. There is more photography, more video, more colour, and – in anticipation of Paul’s previous seven decades being a warm up for his eighth – we’ve pulled together a new timeline detailing his key milestones from 1970 onwards. The timeline will collect together Paul’s ‘ever present past’ into an easy to search, easy to browse, and easy to get lost in – in the good sense! – visual piece of storytelling. And when you’re exploring through the years you’re struck anew by just how much Paul has done, and continues to do – you can even find the first iteration of the website on there. ⁠ ⁠In fact, Paul’s done so much, we’re launching the timeline as a ‘beta version’ and will continue to add to it in the coming months and years, so we’re thinking of it as a work in progress and would love your help: if you spot that something’s missing, let us know!

We started the website a quarter of a century ago: happy birthday to us! Thanks to everyone who has worked on it over the years, and of course thanks to everyone who has visited it. It’s getting better all the time!

Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, May 18, 2022

From https://www.paulmccartney.com/news/paulmccartneycom-in-2022-year-in-review
From paulmccartney.com, May 18, 2022
New homepage
New album page

From neverbland.com:

Paul McCartney’s previous site was built over a decade ago, making content difficult to manage and the design was starting to feel dated. Our task was to reimagine all aspects of the site from his digital brand identity, through to new site structure, design, technology solutions, and build.

The site acts as the source of truth for everything Paul has achieved in his career, and includes a lifetime of rich media. Lots of media.

Rock ‘n’ Roll with extra soul

First up we redesigned the website’s digital brand identity. Paul’s instruction was for the brand to be “dignified, but not corporate; colourful, but classy; a bit rock ‘n’ roll with extra soul”.

The new brand palette lifted inspiration from Paul’s ‘magic piano’. The art direction and visual language across the site borrowed his hand drawn sketches and doodles; these were peppered at key moments across the site. We kept the Typography choices classic yet modern, with a little rock ‘n’ roll flare to compliment the content.

Assembling the archive

Working with the digital and archive teams at MPL, we carefully curated the media for website. Using scans of Paul’s writing we created a numerical typeface and called it ‘Shake a Hand’, named after one of his tracks. Full bleed imagery and videos were applied to make the most of the rich media available to us.

Digging in the crates

PaulMcCartney.com began its life as a blog but eventually grew out of control. To design a unified and clear user experience we overhauled how content types were grouped across the site, whilst making the experience more exploratory and celebratory of content. We created a more holistic experience where different parts of the site are linked, giving the site a narrative feel whilst you’re embarking on a journey of discovery.

A fresh start meant that everything from a full discography, paintings, archive photography, tour information and blog posts needed to be migrated from the old site to new – that’s 3,901 pieces to be precise.

Milestones and memories

Working up several concepts we landed on the perfect execution for a new feature – an explorative timeline. The timeline houses Paul’s every move since the 70s – from gigs and music releases, to Paul’s extensive career work, his knighthood and his books – detailing his milestone achievements day by day, year by year. We built a CMS that enables any content type posted in the site to also automatically populate within the timeline.

Discovering the discography

Paul’s back catalogue of releases also features in the site. We gave every piece its own HEX code to give each of the releases its own unique vibe, and take the user on a journey of discovery through supporting information and media.

Superstar, super-eco

And now for the nitty-gritty bit. It was important to us all, Paul, and his team, that the site was eco-friendly. We reduced the carbon emissions from 811kg to 119kg of CO2 per 10k page visits.
To make the site as accessible as possible for its wide range of users, we implemented AccessiBe – an automated accessibility solution for ADA & WCAG compliance.

A large part of building the site was upgrading and migrating the site content from Drupal 7 which is coming to the end of its life in November 2022. Instead of upgrading to Drupal 9, we decided to migrate to GraphCMS.

Having a site that stood the test of time in an ever-changing tech landscape was important to us and MPL. Using a headless CMS meant the tech stack could evolve over time, and the same CMS can serve content up to lots of places at once, for example apps and digital displays, as well as on the site.

In addition, GraphCMS uses GraphQL. This allowed us to be very selective in the content that is returned to the site. This was another consideration in keeping data transactions lightweight and improving the green credentials of the site.

Paul is live

Creating a site for a superstar is an immense achievement, and it’s only the beginning of our strong relationship with Paul McCartney and his team. 25 years ago (nearly), Paul launched his first site. PaulMcCartney.com has come a long way since 1997, but he finally has the web presence worthy of a superstar.

The aim was to make a site as rock ’n’ roll as the man himself, and we think we pulled it off. At its core, the new site is a visual storytelling device – guiding you through Paul’s entire career, flourished with personal touches and photographs to give you an intimate insight into the icon himself.

From end to end, the entire project was a huge success. Paul and the team at MPL were a pleasure to work with and a little face time with the man himself was a career highlight for the Neverbland team. Stay tuned for the next rockstar site.

From neverbland.com
From neverbland.com
From neverbland.com
Paul McCartney writing

Talk more talk, chat more chat

Notice any inaccuracies on this page? Have additional insights or ideas for new content? Or just want to share your thoughts? We value your feedback! Please use the form below to get in touch with us.

Michael Fairleigh • 2 years ago

I'm 72 and always been a mad beatles fan and big fan of the solo years. One thing i constantly think about is i would love to see Paul and Ringo write some words and sing on the Lennon/ Harrison melody Cry For A Shadow. They could release it as a single, The first ever single release written by Lennon/McCartney, Harrison/ Starkey. Wow, how big would that be and Ringo could also do his drumming on it replacing Pete Best, to make it an official fab four recording. I don't know if it's been thought of before, but I would love to see it happen. It would be big, big news on the music front.

The PaulMcCartney Project • 2 years ago

Hi Michael, this is a tremendous idea ! Would indeed be a big deal ! Thanks.

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